Chafee’s nominee as state public defender has a prominent father
Mary S. McElroy, Governor Lincoln Chafee’s nominee to be the state’s next public defender, has strong credentials for the job; She served as assistant public defender in the Rhode Island Public Defender’s office from 1994 to 2006, and has served as an assistant federal public defender in US District Court since then.
Yet McElroy’s nomination will also be welcomed by many of Chafee’s erstwhile allies in labor since her father, Edward McElroy, a longtime educator and labor leader with Warwick roots, is president emeritus of the American Federation of Teachers.
Edward McElroy preceded Marica Reback as president of the RI Federation of Teachers. His labor career began as president of the Warwick Teachers Union. McElroy is also a previous president of the RI AFL-CIO.
Mary McElroy grew up in Warwick. She graduated from Providence College and Suffolk University School of Law. She clerked for former RI Supreme Court Justice Donald Shea, and worked as an associate for a year at Tate & Elias in Providence.